CAMBRIDGE, Mass., February 26. THE bulls' eye is on their back again, but that comes with the territory. After all, when you are part of the No. 23-ranked Princeton women's swimming and diving team, you know one thing: the path to the Ivy League Championship must go through you.
When you've won four straight Ivy League titles, as Coach Susan Teeter's Lady Tigers have, people take notice.
The Ivy League women's swimming and diving championships begins today (Thursday) at Blodgett Pool on the campus of Harvard, a facility that also served as the host site for the 1980 men's NCAA Division 1 Championships and the following year's USS Spring Nationals.
The "Ancient Eight" will spend three days battling for the 28th championship of the Ivy League, with Teeter's tough and determined Tigers having taken the title 14 times.
And they have the credentials to take No. 15 this weekend.
Princeton finished its 2003-04 season with a 10-1 record and a perfect 7-0 in the Ivy League.
Last season, Princeton also had a perfect record in the Ivy League, and routed the competition in the league championships, finishing with 799.5 team points. The next closest finisher, Harvard, had 633, while Brown had 600.5 points. No other team was within 250 team points of the Tigers.
Princeton returns a number of major contributors from last season's championship team. Senior Sarah Fraumann was at the top of the list, winning four events in 2003 (100 free, 500 free, 1000 free, 1650 free). Fraumann will be looking to cap her career with a fourth championship. She has again led Princeton this season, but the depth of talent has allowed the Tigers to break into the Top 25 once again.
Another consistent performer over the last two seasons has been Stephanie Hsiao, who won the 100 breast last year at the Ivy League championships and has won multiple events in her last two meets. While she continues to top the field in the 100 breast, she has become a top threat in IM events, and she won the HYP meet in the 100 free.
Another returning winner from the 2003 Ivy League championships is Lauren Rossi, who won the 200 breast. Like Fraumann and Hsiao, she has gotten it done this year too.
The depth on the squad goes deeper than last year's top performers though. After all, Sobenna George and Kelly Hannigan were still in high school during last year's league championships. George has been a top performer in the short free races, while Hannigan has won in a variety of strokes and IM races. Both were multiple winners when Princeton raced against Dartmouth. These are two of a number of underclassmen who have led Princeton to another perfect league record, and two who hope to earn All-Ivy honors with successful weekends.